SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. --
The U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Operations School inactivated both its detachments, 1 and 2, and in in their wake stood up the 435th Training Squadron at Scott Air Force Base, April 14.
At 2:35 p.m., or 1435 in military time, the activation ceremony of the 435th TRS commenced and Lt. Col. Jonathan Anderson took command of the newly formed squadron.
Earlier in the day, at the inactivation ceremony of the detachments, Kenneth Arteaga, USAF EOS director, spoke on the significance of the day’s events.
“Often times an inactivation ceremony is a sad day, it is like an end of an era, we get all together and we remember all the good times and bad times, the camaraderie, the stories, the missions that we all did, and it just becomes part of Air Force history,” said Arteaga.
However, he emphasized that while the detachments, at Hurlburt Field and Scott AFB respectively, may have been inactivated, the mission was not going away, the Airmen are not going away and where they operate was not going to change; the only change is reorganization.
“Part of that reorganization is combining Detachment 1 and Detachment 2 into the 435th Training Squadron; but in order to do that, we must inactivate Detachment 1 and Detachment 2,” said Arteaga.
Speaking on the work that the detachments have accomplished, Arteaga noted that even though they were geographically separated from the USAF EOS, they were well aware of the work the detachments have done and Maj. Gen. Mark Camerer, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center commander, is also well aware of the impact that the units have had, not only for Air Mobility Command, but also for the Air Force as a whole and the Department of Defense.
Lt. Col. Zachary Unger, 435th TRS director of operations, who relinquished command of Det. 1, USAF EOS, said, “This is an exciting time! It is not an end but it is a new beginning; it is not an end of an era but the start of a new legacy especially as it concerns command and control.”
“I am very much looking forward to the future, but it is hard to look towards the future without reflecting on the past,” Unger said as he reflected on the detachment’s history. “We teach 11 classes and with more than 800 students a year, since 1998 that equates to more than 20,000 people. We have had a lot of different students from Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and Air Combat Command.”
Unger noted that they have had some notable students to include Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost, AMC commander, as well as Lt. Gen. Brian ‘Smoky’ Robinson, AMC deputy commander. “We have had a lot of impact for a small detachment and a great amount of impact for over 23 years, which makes me so much more hopeful for the future,” Unger concluded. “I know the future of the 435th TRS will achieve success building on the back of two successful detachments.”
As he relinquished command, Lt. Col. Michael Vyn, former commander of Det. 2, USAF EOS, stated that, “an inactivation is a time of change, typically in inactivations, a unit is changing locations, personnel, equipment, or some other reason where a unit must reorganize or adjust to emerging mission requirements; in our case we are changing the name and aligning the organizational structure and priority with what is being done here today.”
“We are inactivating these detachments to form AMC’s only command and control training squadron,” continued Vyn. “Air Mobility Command really got it right here, and that is a credit to all the professionals in Det.1 and Det. 2; we are here celebrating these legacies and turning the page onto the next chapter because of the work you have done here.”
During the activation ceremony of the 435th TRS, Arteaga said, “This is a historically important day for the USAF EOS, which establishes the 435th TRS as the third squadron in the USAF EOS family, along with the 421st Combat Training Squadron and the 423rd Mobility Training Squadron.”
The designation of 435th TRS was determined by the Air Force Research Agency and has very little heritage, which Arteaga noted the squadron and its new commander will have an opportunity to create its own “legacy, building on the rich history of both detachments.”
The 435th TRS’s mission will be to train and educate total force Airmen for a broad spectrum of global and theater command and control while supporting training operations for expeditionary and embedded command and control elements in today’s and tomorrow’s full spectrum operations.
Arteaga laid out that the new squadron will create a mobility-centric command and control training squadron that provides required readiness training to multi-capable Airmen in line with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force’s command and control vision. It will also create a more robust engagement capability, similar to ACC’s 505th Training Squadron; reducing redundant processes in over 10 administrative areas, allowing for better cross-utilization of instructions and standardization of procedures and equipment; increasing theater and global command and control interoperability.
Anderson, as he took command of the 435th TRS thanked Unger and Vyn for their leadership and noted that they and “the rich history of the detachments has created some very strong shoulders for the 435th TRS to stand on.”
“Today we make history,” said Anderson. “Today we formally combine two high performing detachments into one unit.”
Concluding his remarks, Anderson emphasized that he trusts his team to keep doing their jobs with the high standards of excellence they have for years and that he looks forward to synthesizing the distinct culture of the former detachments into a new culture known as the 435th TRS, the Air Forces’ only command and control training squadron.”
The USAF EOS, part of the U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, develops and delivers world-class expeditionary training and education for the Air Force. Its mission is to train and educate total force Airmen for a broad spectrum of expeditionary operations today and tomorrow.